Monthly Archives: December 2013

What I learnt this week: Winter Wonderland

Monday.  Ahh.  Last day of work until the 2nd of Jan.  Yipee!  Headed to see Anchoman 2 (although I still haven’t seen 1) with some peeps from work that night.  Laughed myself silly.  Nice way to begin the holidays!

Christmas Eve I got up early, headed to Borough Markets.  Ate myself around there.  Bought Christmas treats- mince pies, cheese, sea scallops.  Yum.  When I got home, Glen my house mate asked- ‘Are you here for Christmas?’  Yep.  He offered to cook a roast.  Which I’d never turn down!  I was in charge of wine and dessert.  Winning.

Later that day Glen took me to B and Q (basically Bunnings- for my Aussie mates).  Got paint.  Came home and we spent 6 hours stripping the wall paper in my room.  Pretty sure the land lord won’t mind…Painted until  9pm, that deserved  a wine.

As Glen and I chatted he suddenly decided to look for a Christmas tree in the house.  We found half of one.  Gave up on the rest but I decorated the house with tinsel.  Better late than never.

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Talked to my family back home on Christmas day, which was lovely but hard as well.  Finished watching Dexter, the last season, shed a tear or two.  Whipped two more coats of paint on my room.   So happy it’s done!  Now I can join ‘The Block,’ no worries!

Had a lovlely roast, mulled wine and pudding with Glen.  It was a quiet Christmas but it was nice.  Went for a walk in the park, sharing my Christmas greetings to anyone who passed 🙂

Boxing day was pretty relaxing.  I was alone as Glen headed off to Venice.  House to myself. Which I always enjoy except for when it gets dark.  Then I think of every horror film I’ve seen.  My mind can be a little over active…

Checked out the ‘Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ too.  Which I absolutely loved.  Ben Stiller, what a dude!  It was a very chilled week really, catching up on writing my blog,  running, chatting to people in Aus.  Kinda letting everything catch up with me.  It’s been a crazy year.  Time for some reflection.

Went  to a belated Christmas gathering at Stu and Clare’s on Saturday.  Just a small group of friends.  It was so fun.  Eating, drinking, Pictionary.  Couldn’t ask for more.  Later that night we headed to the local for nachos and tequila.  Then in all my wisdom I decided to go to Romford to catch up with Lewis and Shelley.  That don’t go as planned, so home again.  And drunk face book posting.

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Sunday I got up early and went shopping, purchased some things for my room, pillows, lamp etc.  Went for a run.  Did some planning for the new year.  God what a boring day.  Writing this makes me want to fall asleep.  Better stop.

This weeks theme was very clear- it was about choices.  It all started during an ad I saw at the movies. ‘The choices we make reflect our true nature.’ True.

I’ve recently been watching  ‘Samantha Who?’  Which has Christina Applgate playing a girl who wakes up with memory loss.  She said at the end of one ep ‘You never know how one thing will affect another.’ True too.

We also played ‘The 15 hardest choices you will have to make’ at our Christmas party.  If you google ‘top 15 hardest choices’ you will get what I’m talking about.  It was fascinating to hear people’s reactions to impossible situations.  And a lot of the time there was a clear male/female divide.  All I know for sure is there is alternate Sally walking around with Acrodian legs, hugging giant gummy bears, with cheeto dust on her hands, constantly hiccuping.

Some choices can be hard to make.  I believe you can only make the best choice at the time.  You can’t choose what happens to you.  But you can choose how you react.

What I did that scared me:  

  • Went to Romford on a Saturday night.  That will never happen again

Funniest moment:

  • Pictionary- Boys VS Girls + wine = hilarious

Highs:

  • Redecorating my room
  • Christmas
  • I  gave one of my fav books- ‘The Alchemist’ to a friend before I left for the UK.  He recently posted it was the only book he has ever read and he loved it 🙂

Lows:

  • Sunday, what a boring day
  • Tube closures, not fun!
  • Coldies

What I learnt:

  • You are the choices you make

What I learnt this week: The pursuit of happiness

Back to work.  Ahhh, being away puts you well behind!!  Needless to say the last week of work before the break was chaos!  Somehow made it through.

We had our work Christmas party on Thursday night.  James Bond theme.  Got dressed up all nice.  It’s funny your idea of what will happen and what does are so different.   Ate, drank, danced the night away.  It was fun.  My dance moves went down well 🙂

Most of us stayed at the Russell hotel in the city.  That was cool.   A big breaky with Kristen and the boys the next day was a must.  Work was as struggle.  Couldn’t wait for 5.30pm.

Went out for a cider with Stu and Brendan after work.  Ate the world’s worst burgers.  Chatted until we could no longer stay awake, as we all had our respective Christmas parties the night before.

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Saturday I blame net flicks for being exceptionally unproductive.  Was planning a quiet night until Lewis invited me out for a Christmas Jumper party.  How could I say no!

It was supposed to be a couple of drinks but I was with a bunch of guys therefore was shouted drinks all night.  Ended up in what I believe could have been hell- ‘FABRIC.’  And by that time it was too late for the tube and a cab was not an option.

So we sat around until 5.30am, walked to Liverpool Street, ate maccas (disgraceful) and waited for the first tube.  Arg.  Home at 8am.  Was a good night though, and it’s nice being just friends with Lewis now.

Slept til 12pm.  Then cleaned out my room, which was surprisingly productive of me.

My weekly wondering- what are we working towards?  What drives us?  I guess most people would say happiness.  ‘I just want to be happy.’ The thing is- what makes us happy is different for everyone.  I saw a quote at my train station- ‘Some people chase happiness, others create it.’  I guess that’s what I’m trying to do.

Happiness is a big word.  But I believe it’s the small things that make up our individual happiness.  Spending time with someone you love, finishing something you are really proud of, going for a run, looking through the window and really seeing the world.

Everyone is in pursuit of happiness. How we get there is…(insert whatever you want)

Funniest moment:

  • I wore my fav blue dress to work on Tuesday.  The same day Terry wore exactly the same colour shirt.  We were the smurfs.

The thing that I did that scared me the most:

  • Caught the first tube home on a Sunday morning.  Although that was more scary for everyone else, as I was in last nights clothes, hair and makeup.

Highs:

  • Christmas Party
  • Friday night burger & beers with the boys
  • Watching the end of ‘Damages,’ what a series!

Lows:

  • Getting through work on Friday
  • Not doing any writing this week 🙁
  • Sunday tube start time is ridiculous

What I learnt:  

  • The pursuit of happiness is what you make it out to be

 

 

What I learnt this week: The lesson

This was one of the most unexpected weeks of the year.  I was lucky enough to travel to Canada to represent my work at a teaching seminar in Toronto.  If I’d asked myself at the start of the year would I travel to Canada in 2013,  I would have said no way.  But there I was.

Worked in London on Monday.  Travelled to Canada on the Tuesday, with Martine.  Which was brilliant because we’re very similar people, so it was like going with a friend.  Nice flight, movies, bloody mary’s and a decent steak!  Arrived late, ate, swam in the hotel pool and went to sleep in my big bed!  So nice after being  in a single bed.  Starfish.

We had a huge breaky of pancakes, bacon, beans, potato, tomato and toast.  Packed gift bags for the conference.  Answered emails, bought food for the info session, prepared what we were going to say.

The evening went well.  Met lots of great young teachers looking to relocate to London when they graduate.  It was awesome getting to speak to them about my experience of moving across  to London and what an amazing place it is to find yourself in.

Martine and I were exhausted but we had some left over food from the info session which neither of us wanted to throw out.  We had noticed some homeless people earlier, so we headed off in search of them.

It was freezing, wandering around with platters, no-one in sight.  Suddenly we came across a church and went in. A lady eyed us suspiciously ‘how old is the food?’  After the 3rd degree she invited us in to leave the food for the addicts anon group which was about to take place.

We put the food on the table, introduced ourselves to the small gathering.  I went to the toilet came back and more people had joined.  I then noticed a 12 step program book in front of my seat.  They shut the door and I thought oh god, we’re about to be involved in this group session.  Luckily Martine saved us with ‘dinner reservations.’

Next day was more preparation for the conference.  Then we caught a bus to check out the Christmas markets and had a bit of look around the city, which was interesting.  Ate lunch at the most amazing Mexican restaurant I’ve ever been to.

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Met one of Martine’s old uni friends, at an amazing vegi restaurant for dinner.  On the way in I noticed a homeless guy, sitting in the freezing snow.  I couldn’t get it out of my mind, I felt guilty.   So I ordered some soup and took it out, but he was gone.  I offered it to another lady who was also homeless, she looked at me as though I had just offered her poison and refused the hot soup.  Wow, did not see that coming.

The teachers fair was Friday.  It was awesome meeting more teachers, chatting about the company and moving to London.  I was really proud of my work.  Martine was doing interviews most of the time so I was holding the fort.  Lost my voice from all the talking but it was worth it.  After it finished we had more interviews!  So exhausted.

Back to the hotel for dinner.  Then the NBA!!!  Amazing.  We took the subway to see the Toronto Raptors, yeah.  At the game we partook in bloody Mary’s with clamato juice, which is tomato and clam juice, weird.  We watched the game, soaked in the atmosphere, the dancing, the mascots, the fans.

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Saturday, packed up.  Because the conference was finished we didn’t have much to do.  Went to the uni handed out the last of info packs.  Then went to catch the sightseeing bus.  Alas we missed it!  Standing in the snow we weighed our options.  Martine went to the museum.  I went back to the hotel.  Sat beside the window, writing.  The snow fell outside, it was pretty magical.

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But then it was time to go.  Eventually made it through the snow storm to the airport.  Plane.  Eat.  Sleep.  Back in London.  More sleep.

Got up, submitted my first TV script to the BBC.  Big news!!!  I’m so proud of it.  The wait is on now.

I learnt this week that you never stop learning!  It was a sign posted at the uni where we did the conference.  And it’s true.  You think you have learnt all you need or all you need but there’s always more.

That’s good news, my blog will always be relevant.

It takes time to work out what you need to do, where you need to be.  But if you keep an open mind and heart these things become clear.  Keep living, keep learning.

Funniest moment:

  • I was carrying a big box of gift bags and couldn’t see the ground.  I missed a step heading out of the uni.  It looked grim, thought I was going to go splat.  But I skillfully managed to keep upright whilst bounding down the rest of the stairs, box in hand.  Martine and I couldn’t stop laughing

What I did that scared me:

  • I committed a minor crime.  Trust me it was warranted.  And very minor.

Highs:

  • Basketball game
  • BBC submission
  • Pancakes in Canada with maple syrup!

Lows:

  • Jet lag
  • The cold- my ears almost froze off!
  • When I got on the plane back to London for a second I thought I was going home…

What I learnt:

  • You never stop learning!

 

What I learnt this week: Relax

Settled.  I have my place, my job and friends.  My life in London is no longer just a holiday.  I have unpacked, bought groceries, started running in the nearby park.  I write in my spare time.

However this week I felt on edge.  For the last couple of months I’ve been in someone else’s space.  I couldn’t relax.  So when I was unsure about taking the washing out of the machine after it was finished, (as I didn’t know whose it was), Koby, (house mate) said ‘you gotta not care.’  And he was right.  This is my place, I can do whatever I want (within reason).  I’m here.  And I’m here to stay.

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I haven’t house shared for years.  It’s weird to go back to it.  It’s not something I thought I’d ever do again.  But that’s life isn’t it.  Unexpected.    There are four other people- Casey and Glen, they’re nice, keep to themselves.  Then there’s Soph and Koby, my type of people.  We had dinner on Sunday night at the local pub, which they introduced me too.  Unfortunately they’re shifting out soon.  Oh well.  Better to have met them than not.

Had an early Christmas dinner goodbye with Kelly, as she heads off to Australia for the holidays soon.  That was lovely.  Picked up the rest of my stuff from her place.  I really wonder how I got everything across to London.  I do not travel light.  Excess baggage you might say.  Guess we all have some of that though…

Working week flew by.  Friday night was messy- drinks.  It’s bad when the shots start at 6.30.  Eek. Needless to say without food I didn’t last long.  Went in search of a burger.  Discovered sweet potato fries.  Amazing.

Saturday was rough.  No more drinking like that!  Ended up in bed watching Breaking Bad. Started to anyway.  Only 4.5 seasons to go…

This weeks lesson relates me feeling somewhat out of place.  There were a couple signs I noticed  in regards to this theme.  ‘Be where you are,’ & ‘Acknowledge the challenges and praise the progress.’  Honestly there’s nothing more to say.

Funniest moment:

  • One of the girls at work asking if Canada is part of the EU (although maybe that’s not funny)

Highs:

  • Settling in to the house
  • Sunday night dinner
  • Getting my run back on

Lows:

  • The after affect of too many shots
  • The after affect of too many shots
  • The after affect of too many shots

What I did that scared me:

  • Drank a Cuban Zombie (don’t)

What I learnt:

  • Relax, be where you are